Q – Where did you both live when you were younger?
VAL –I lived in Barraba.
DON – Gravesend which is between Moree and Inverell.
Q – When and where did you first meet? How did your relationship develop?
VAL – In Sydney, in about 1951
DON – Yep, that’s right
VAL – We played tennis together
DON – Yep, we played a lot of tennis!
VAL – And Don, you had a motorbike, and I rode on the back of the motorbike
DON – She did
VAL – I worked in a woollen mill during the day, but I also worked in a café at night and I first met Don because he would come and have his tea there every night.
Q – Don, what did you have for tea?
DON – Oh you know, the same sort of things that most people got, steak and three veg and what have you. I went there every night to see her.
Q – When did you get married
VAL – In September 1952, 20th of September 1952
Q – Describe your wedding day
DON – It was at night time.
VAL – It was at night time because Don played tennis in the afternoon. We had a church ceremony, Wesley Chapel in Castlereagh St in Sydney, and then we had a reception in a Hall at Enmore where we lived. I suppose there might have been 50 people there.
DON – Val's parents came, and some others from her family. My father died when he was about 50, so he wasn’t there.
Q – Val, what was your dress like?
VAL – White satin, a little bit of lace at the neck, Very simple, classical dress.
Q – And Don’s suit?
DON – A Black suit. Again very traditional.
Q – Where did you have your honeymoon? Was there any particular reason?
DON – The Blue Mountains, and from there, we went on to visit Val’s family
VAL – There was no particular reason. We just thought it would be nice.
Q – Did you have any children?
VAL – We have three children. Robert who is an accountant, Brian who worked as a union official, and Janelle who is a school teacher.
Q – Do you have any grandchildren?
VAL – We have 4 grand children, and 2 adopted grandchildren. We have Steven and Jacqueline from Robert’s family, we have Ben and Dan from Janelle’s family, and Brian’s partner Jane has two daughters Angie and Lucy.
Q – Any great grandchildren?
VAL – Yes we have 4 – Cooper and Jessica who are Steven’s children, and Lara who is Jaqueline’s daughter, and she also has a step-daughter, Alex.
Q – What has been your biggest achievement as a couple?
VAL – I would have to say our family.
Q – What are some of the challenges you have faced in your marriage?
VAL – One of our sons was born with a twisted foot, but other than that no terribly difficult things so far. We are very lucky.
DON – Val's mother used to say to me “You’ll look after her, won’t you?” and I would say to her “oh, she’ll be right”. (laughter)
Q – Do you have any tips on how to overcome any challenges that arise or how to have such a great married life?
VAL – I think it's important to be with your family a lot, spend a lot of time with them.
DON – Yes, I agree.
Q – What would you say to anyone wanting to have a long and happy marriage like yours?
VAL – Learn to accept things as they come, don’t get upset over small things. Cherish each other.